Heart Attack Facts

If you think you are having a heart attack, call ‘000’ now

Are you a Heart Hero?

If someone you love has had a heart attack or is at risk of heart disease, you can make a real difference, and become their Heart Hero. Arm yourself with our Heart Hero information by following the four easy steps below and you will be ready to support your loved one on their journey to a healthy heart.

Learn the warning signs

The warning signs of heart attack aren’t what you think. Symptoms can be varied and may not always be sudden or severe. You or someone you love may have just one symptom or a combination of them. They can come on suddenly or develop over minutes and get progressively worse. Symptoms usually last for at least 10 minutes.


Some key symptoms to watch out for are:

Pain, pressure, heaviness or tightness in your:

  • Chest
  • Shoulder(s)
  • Arm(s)
  • Jaw
  • Neck
  • Back

You may also feel:

  • Nauseous
  • Dizzy
  • Cold sweat
  • Shortness of breath

Encourage your loved ones to learn the warning signs today
so they can survive tomorrow.

Get a Heart Attack Action Plan

A heart attack can happen unexpectedly, and the longer you ignore it, the worse the damage. Following an action plan gives you and your loved ones the best chance of survival and recovery. If you are with someone and they are experiencing the warning signs, follow the steps below.

1. 2. 3.

Stop – immediately stop the person from what they are doing so they can rest.

Talk – Ask them what they are feeling. If any of their symptoms:

  • Are severe
  • Get worse quickly
  • Have lasted at least 10 minutes

Call Triple Zero (000) now!
If calling Triple Zero (000) on your mobile does not work, try 112.

This information could save a life. Order or download a free Heart Attack Action Plan today. Keep one for yourself and give one to your loved one.

Discuss the topic with a loved one


Health is often a hard topic to approach with family and friends, as we all like to believe that illness won’t affect us. It’s really important to get into the habit of discussing your health and the health of your loved ones, to be aware of your family history and personal risk factors. If you are struggling to find a way to raise the topic with your loved one, using the Heart Attack Action Plan that you have downloaded/ordered can be a good way of introducing the topic.

One of the most important things you can encourage your loved ones to do is talk to their doctor about their risk of heart disease. Heart disease is not always obvious and often there are no symptoms. That is why it is so important for your loved one to visit their doctor and have their risk factors assessed - whether or not they think anything is wrong with them.

The risk factors are:

The good news is that heart disease is preventable. Don’t let a heart attack be the first symptom of heart disease for your friend or family member. Learn the risk factors and act on the information now to save the life of your loved one.

Providing support

Has your loved one suffered a cardiac event? If they are finding it difficult to cope, it’s important to provide support and encourage your loved one to follow through with their doctor’s recommendations and complete cardiac rehabilitation.

You can also access free, personalised information on heart health, nutrition and how to have a healthy lifestyle by contacting our Health Information Service, or call 1300 36 27 87 during business hours to speak with one of our trained health professionals.

If you need an interpreter, please call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450 and ask them to telephone the Heart Foundation Health Information Service.

Take part in healthy activities

Taking part in healthy activities has many benefits, such as helping you and your loved ones to maintain a healthy weight. It is also a great way to meet new people and be part of your community. Make it a priority to tackle the risk factors of heart disease. The Heart Foundation has great programs that can help you along the way.

Heart Foundation Walking

Heart Foundation Walking is a fun, social and easy way to be active and best of all it's FREE! It is Australia’s largest network of community-based walking groups with over 20,000 active members. Groups are led by volunteer Walk Organisers and we have new groups starting every week.
To find out more visit: Heart Foundation Walking.


Most people know that regular physical activity is good for your health. But you don't have to exercise at a vigorous level to achieve health benefits. To help, the Heart Foundation has developed a low-to-moderate intensity exercise program called Heartmoves, designed for people who are living with health conditions.
To find out more visit: Heartmoves.

Healthier Recipes

Want to try healthier eating? Try a delicious and free healthy recipe from the Heart Foundation - download your next meal today.

Become a Heart Hero and learn the warning signs today